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Friday, October 16, 2009

Cullowhee: Day 2.5 

It was a beautiful day in Western Carolina today - literally beautiful! Low 60s, clear skys, and the leaves on all the big trees are all starting to turn to their gorgeous fall colors.

Dick and I woke up early so that he/we could sit in on a class in the computer science department at Western - it was on Internet Security and Ethics. Such a great class to offer - Dick told the students how relavant the topic is, and how fortunate they are to have the opportunity to take it in college. We listened to a bit of the lecture, then observed an arranged debate on software patents. Very cool.

We had a couple of hours before the next class that Dick wanted to observe, so we drove around the mountains of Cullowhee for a bit. I keep saying this, but it's SO pretty here! No rain today, and the skies were just a bit cloudy, but the trees are changing colors and it's simply an awe-inspiring site.

We drove to Bear Lake, which, apparently, is where Dick and his friends used to play hookey from school when the weather was nice. :) I could go on and on about how pretty it was, but I suppose a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll spare you from having to read 3,000 words. :)

As Dick went to his next class, I had a chance to have a nice lunch and a great visit with a dear friend, Kim Gruelle. Kim and I met through the Raggedy Ann community in 1992. We met at the Raggedy Ann and Andy Festival in Arcola, IL, in 1992, and at two more festivals over the next few years. We became fast friends. Kim lives near Cashiers, NC, which, in another example of serindipity, is only about 30 minutes away from Cullowhee - the small mountain town where Dick grew up! Each time Dick and I have come to visit the mountains, we have made it a point to visit Kim as well! Kim has also spent some time with us in San Francisco, on route to Hawaii.

We haven't seen each other in 5 years, so it was so nice to have a chance to get together and catch up.

Trina and Kim

I made it back in time for the Awards Ceremony for Western Carolina's College of Arts and Sciences' First Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony - of which Dick was one of 8 recipients.

Dick was amongst very good company - the accomplishments and careers of the other noted alumni were most impressive.

Dick being presented by the Head of the Mathematics and Computer Sciences Department

The awards ceremony was followed by a nice reception where Dick had a chance to see and speak with some old professors and friends. What a very nice event and experience. I'm so glad that we were able to attend!

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